At­lantic Growth Strat­egy

At­lantic Canada to fo­cus on tourism, im­mi­gra­tion to help build the re­gion’s econ­omy

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY GARY KEAN [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_GaryKean

Whether they come as tourists or as peo­ple wish­ing to take up res­i­dence, the prov­inces of At­lantic Canada are look­ing out­side the re­gion to bol­ster their col­lec­tive econ­omy.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the At­lantic Cana­dian gov­ern­ments, along with a hand­ful of fed­eral cabi­net min­is­ters, met in western New­found­land this week to re­view and dis­cuss progress of the At­lantic Growth Strat­egy.

At a news con­fer­ence at the Hum­ber Val­ley Re­sort Tues­day af­ter­noon, they pro­vided some in­sight into how the ef­fort to stim­u­late the re­gion’s econ­omy was go­ing.

In ad­di­tion to con­tin­u­ing to help es­tab­lished in­dus­tries and emerg­ing in­dus­tries, the min­is­ters and pre­miers an­nounced fund­ing to the tune of $24.5 mil­lion to help bet­ter mar­ket At­lantic Canada as a tourist des­ti­na­tion.

Also an­nounced was a ded­i­cated ser­vice team of 12 fed­eral govern­ment work­ers, some lo­cated in each of the four At­lantic prov­inces, to help sup­port the At­lantic Im­mi­gra­tion Pi­lot pro­gram ini­tially an­nounced one year ago.

Ac­cord­ing to fed­eral In­no­va­tion, Science and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Navdeep Bains, who is also the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency, the money be­ing in­vested in the tourism in­dus­try is ex­pected to cre­ate 200 new busi­nesses and 6,000 new jobs in the next three years.

In fact, he said those num­bers are con­ser­va­tive.

“These bold ac­tions and re­sults show that, when we work to­gether and we col­lab­o­rate and we have a com­mon vi­sion, we can achieve a lot when it comes to the growth of this vi­brant re­gion,” said Bains.

There were no specifics on how the money would be spent or a break­down of how much will go to each re­gion. Bains said fund­ing de­tails will de­pend on what op­por­tu­ni­ties are iden­ti­fied, but the ob­ject will be to mar­ket the en­tire At­lantic re­gion as a whole.

“It’s not about how we’re go­ing to slice up the pie,” he said. “It’s re­ally about how can we grow the pie and how can we ac­tu­ally cre­ate more growth and op­por­tu­ni­ties for this re­gion as a whole?”

On the im­mi­gra­tion front, fed­eral Im­mi­gra­tion, Refugees and Cit­i­zen­ship Min­is­ter Ahmed Hussen noted how 280 peo­ple have been re­cruited and have ap­plied for pro­vin­cial en­dorse­ment for per­ma­nent res­i­dency un­der the pi­lot pro­gram launched in July 2016. Of those num­bers, 200 have been en­dorsed and can now ap­ply for per­ma­nent res­i­dency.

Also, some 412 em­ploy­ers in At­lantic Canada have be­come el­i­gi­ble to re­cruit im­mi­grants to fill job va­can­cies.

While those num­bers are en­cour­ag­ing, he said more can be done and hopes the ded­i­cated ser­vice team an­nounced Tues­day will help move the pro­gram for­ward.

New­found­land and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said a lot of mean­ing­ful work is be­ing done through the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween fed­eral and pro­vin­cial govern­ment col­leagues.

“All of this is re­ally about how we de­liver ser­vices to At­lantic Cana­di­ans — to New­found­lan­der and Labrado­ri­ans to me as premier — and also help­ing cre­ate that fa­vor­able and suc­cess­ful en­vi­ron­ment for new and emerg­ing busi­nesses to be suc­cess­ful,” said Ball.

GARY KEAN/ THE WESTERN STAR

New­found­land and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball and fed­eral In­no­va­tion, Science and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Navdeep Bains dis­cuss the lat­est de­vel­op­ments with the At­lantic Growth Strat­egy at a news con­fer­ence at Hum­ber Val­ley Re­sort in western...

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